Macartney Drug Store c.1872
The land was originally part of the holdings of George Keefer. Wm. John Macartney was a leading citizen of Thorold and one of the town’s first druggists. He sold pharmaceutical drugs and toys from this building which he had constructed.
The family operated a drug store for over 60 years before selling the business and premises to Edward M. Henderson in 1939. He was active in the Town and was an Alderman on Town Council for 25 years, was Vice Chair of the Thorold Board of Trade and served on the Thorold Ambulance Association. He then passed the business on to his son John M. Henderson who has continued serving the citizens of Thorold and who had the tasteful restoration done in the late 1980’s.
Front Street, became the main commercial thoroughfare in the Village of Thorold and was laid out on the east side of the first, then second Welland Canal. This building at 15 Front St. South remains in its original location within its original environment. The building has operated as a drug store from the time it was built c.1872 with only two names connected to the business – Macartney and Henderson, both of whom served the citizens of Thorold well.
Constructed at the height of the Italianate style of architecture, this brick building is comprised of three distinct sections. The storefront, the middle facade, usually laid out as offices or living quarters, and thirdly is the building’s cornice or top. The most striking feature of the facade is the middle section with the set of three hooded windows. These 2nd storey windows located in the front, have label surrounding heads and lintels of cut limestone and stained glass window panes. The building possesses a symmetry common in the Italianate styling. A beautiful doorcase, supported by two squared, fluted columns, with interesting glass design at the top, is reminiscent of the Classical Temples, and is located in the side alley entrance to the living quarters upstairs. A double camber arch has been constructed over the cellar windows; one of the windows at the side of the building displays the same hallmarks as that of the cellar windows.
The restoration of this building has maintained the architectural and historical integrity of the building and makes it an outstanding part of Thorold’s collection of heritage buildings creating a catalyst for downtown renewal.